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The Legend of the Five Races of Man… 

Way back long long years ago, the Great One had created the many planets and suns and stars, and he liked what he had made. He would look out on his creation and he began to notice one place which he called Earth. He thought the place was special so he began to put living things on the planet. First, he put plants and then he put animals. Then he thought he needed a being to direct the planet with all the wonderful plants and animals.

So the Great One decided to make a man to direct the Earth. What will I make him from?, he thought. He glanced over near him and saw his pile of pottery mud which he used to make cooking pots and beautiful pottery. He often shaped the pottery mud and then he cooked it so it would be strong and the rain would not harm it. He picked up a hand full of mud and began to shape it. He rolled it in his hands and he beat on it like we beat on the pottery clay to get the air bubbles out.

What should this look like?, thought the Great One. He didn’t have a picture or anything to go by like we would. He began to shape his project and before long he realized he was using arms and legs and man was looking like his own shape. He said, "That’s okay, he can be like me."

He made man a heart representing the life and he put in a brain like he had given the other animals. But he thought the man would need more if this man was to help him direct the earth. He would need a mind so he could plan and remember things. Then the Great One thought I want him to keep in contact with me. I need him and he will often need my help, too. So he gave the man a mind and a soul to connect the man with the Great One.

The Great One looked out on the planer and began to select the best place for man to start. Suddenly he heard a clap of thunder. He said, "Oh, oh, I forgot. He wont last long if I don’t waterproof him." So he heated up the stove to temper the man and make him strong. He placed the man in the hot oven and rolled a rock over the opening.

He was so excited about this new creation he could hardly wait. After a little while, he pushed the rock out of the way of the mouth of the oven and was he disappointed!! The man was still quite pale and sort of sickly. He almost threw him away but that would teach a bad lesson: I want all my creatures not to throw things away, but to use everything wisely. So he thought this man has a good mind and I’ll make him some help.

He threw the man into the part of the world we now call Georgia, not the Georgia like Atlanta, the other Georgia in Europe. We call him a white man, but you never saw a white man in your life, maybe pink, maybe beige, but not white.

The Great One was determined to make the next man more carefully so he cooked him and cooked him and then he cooked him a little bit more. When he took this one out, he was very, very dark. He had nearly burned him. He said, "What have I done? You’ll surely be weather-proof." So he hurled him down into a place called Africa, and we call him a black man even though he’s really usually brown, too.

The third time he tried to finish the man he turned out a little bit smaller and a bit yellowed. This one was placed into what we call China. Next time he liked the smaller size and he cooked him purely brown, a beautiful small man with nice dark hair. This man lives in present-day India. But the Great One still was not satisfied. He tried one more time.

This time he cooked his creation so carefully that the man looked just as he planned him: a tall, brown man with beautiful straight hair. The Great One was so happy he was about to keep this man up in Galunlati with him, but that would not be a good lesson. He knew he should finish what he started. But this time he didn’t hurl the man; instead the Great One went with the man to find the best place to put this favorite man. They traveled all over the earth and finally after seven times looking around the world, the Great One noticed the Southern Appalachians. The mountains were so beautiful that he knew he would settle his strong, brown Cherokee man in these Southern mountains.

He went with the man and explained to the animals that they were here to work with the man. He explained that the man would need to use them for meat and tools and clothing. When that was all done, he said to the man that his soul would make it possible to call on the Great One. The Great One was very happy with his helper on Earth.

(from "Aunt Mary, Tell Me A Story")